Chitra Pournami

Chitra Pournami or Chitra Purnima is a Tamil ceremony observed on the Purnima day (full moon day) in the Tamil month of Chithirai (April–May). Chitra Pournami ritual commemorates Chitragupta, who according to the scriptures is the assistant of Lord Yama, the God of Death. The day is also dedicated to Indra, the head of Devas. It is on this day that the star Chitra and full moon come together.
Chitragupta also means collection of pictures. It is believed that Chitragupta examines the good and bad   performances of the person.   When a person dies, his soul first goes to Lord  yama, where Chitragupta tallies the deeds and report it to Yama. Special   worship   is   done in Honour of Lord Chitragupta – the Divine Accountant who     keeps an account of our karmas and appeals for Forgiveness for our shortcomings is raised on this day.
It is a customary to eat curd rice without salt on this day and to fast without eating anything else.  In Any case avoiding salt in food items throughout the day is recommended on this day, if possible.
On this day, special pooja will be conducted at temples and people take bath in holy rivers and temple ponds to wash away the sins committed.
Chitragupta Temple at Kancheepuram is the only temple in South India for Chitragupta.
Thirukoteeswarar temple at Thirukodikaval situated on the Kumbakonam- Mayiladuthurai route has separate shrines for Chitragupta   and   Yama. In  these temples, Chitra Pournami festival is celebrated in a grand manner every year.
There is a legend associated with Chitra Pournami involving Lord Indra the king of Devas and his Guru Brihaspati. Lord Indra and Brihaspati   once had an argument. As Indra failed to respect Guru, he stopped   advising Indra who started committing sins in the absence of Guru.   Days passed and Brihaspati returned to his duty. He advised Indra for a pilgrimage to the earth to lessen the burden of sins. During the pilgrimage, Indra realized that he had been redeemed from the sins. He found a Shiva lingam under a Kadamba tree and believed that Lord   Shiva had helped him in relieving his sins.
Following this, he started worshipping him. He worshipped Lord Shiva with a golden lotus which he found from a nearby pond. This was believed to have happened on a Chitra Pournami day at Madurai
in South India. Devendra pooja or Indra Pooja is held during Chitra   Pournami festival in Madurai Meenakshi Amman Temple, commemorating the event.


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